The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of April 8 to April 15, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Residents Informed That Acceptance of Mellen Road as a Town Way Will Not Appear on Annual Town Meeting Warrant

Mellen Road residents were disappointed last week to receive a letter from Interim Town Manager Steve Delaney, dated March 31, 2021, stating that acceptance of Mellen Road as a town way would be delayed for several more months while the town seeks easements from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Mr. Delaney sent residents the draft version of an article for the 2021 Annual Town Meeting warrant, which closed on April 6. (Town Meeting will convene on Monday, May 17, 2021.) The article asks voters to approve the Town to petition the State for approval of a Special Act.

"A Special Act is needed due to a portion of State land being part of the layout," Mr. Delaney stated in the letter (item 3). "Because a portion of the road encroaches upon State land we must petition the State Legislature for a 'Special Act' granting the Town an easement over the land that is included within the layout. We do not anticipate a problem with getting the Special Act approved, but we do anticipate that it will take several months to get the approval from the State."

The article will also ask voters to approve acquiring easements from the residents of Mellen Road, as is customary. "Once the easements and legislative act are both complete, the request for formal acceptance of the road can be presented to a town meeting for approval," Mr. Delaney stated in his letter (item 4). He said that he hoped this could happen at the fall 2021 Town Meeting, "but we cannot control the timing at the state house. I am sure that our legislative delegation will be of assistance in this effort."

Mellen Road resident Marc Dorwart told the Courier that residents feel Mellen Road is being treated differently than other roads in town, and that the town is inconsistent in how unaccepted roads are accepted. He contrasted their situation with the recent acceptance of Bayberry Circle, providing documents to the Courier which demonstrate that the town acquired easements for Bayberry Circle in December of 2020, after the town voted to accept the road as a town way at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting in September.

Mr. Dorwart also referenced the simple vote at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting to accept portions of Central Street which had been found to never have been formally accepted in the past as town ways, without any surveying or formalities required.

Mr. Dorwart pointed out that the town paved Mellen Road last year before acquiring easements from the residents or the state.

At the 2020 Annual Town Meeting, held in September due to COVID restrictions and delays, voters approved two articles related to Mellen Road by large majorities. During the lengthy discussion on Article 15, which approved funds to pave Mellen Road, both town counsel and members of the Board of Selectmen stated repeatedly that once the road had been paved, it could be brought before voters at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting in the spring.

Article 27 on the 2020 Annual Town Meeting warrant was placed by citizen petition and asked voters to approve accepting Mellen Road as a town way by prescription. This article had not been recommended by the Board of Selectmen. (See "Board of Selectmen Substantially Amend Mellen Road Warrant Article 15: Board Votes Not to Recommend Accepting Town Way by Prescription" in the September 17-24 edition of the Winchendon Courier.) Voters approved Article 27 by a strong margin of 86 percent in favor, 14 percent opposed (see "Article to Repair Old Murdock Misses Two Thirds Vote by 4 Percent at Monday's ATM: Articles Related to Unaccepted Roads Spark Lengthy Debates" in the October 1-8 edition of the Winchendon Courier.)

The Courier spoke with Mr. Delaney about the reasons for the delay.

Mr. Delaney explained, "the documentation that counsel has looked at, that shows that the road touches upon state land, and requires an easement, which includes a Special Act of the state legislature. It should be routine. But that's the advice that I have from our attorneys."

Mr. Delaney said that the town has not yet petitioned the state for easements because Town Meeting has not approved the town to do so. "That's what the article on the warrant in May will allow us to do," he explained. "You can't go for a Special Act until you have an approved plan in hand, which we will have next week. The approved layout, or the final layout from the surveyers will be completed and with us probably within the next ten days or so. That forms the basis for the description that would be submitted to the legislature for a Special Act."

The Courier asked about the voters' approval of accepting Mellen Road by prescription last September. Mr. Delaney responded, "All I can tell you is where we are now. I can't tell you all the details of what's in the past. I can only speak to what's in front of us right now...

" could go into the Town Meeting next month, in May, and accept the road. The problem is you haven't got any of the other pieces in place, and there's, I think a hundred and twenty day time clock that starts ticking as soon as you accept the road, to get all the other pieces in order. And if all the other pieces don't come together, including all the easements and the Special Act, after [a hundred and] twenty days everything is dead, you've got to start all over again. That's the risk of accepting the road at May Town Meeting. You can certainly do that, it's my recommendation and counsel's recommendation that you don't do that that way. That you get the easements in place first, so you're not up against the clock, having to potentially do the same acceptance twice."

Mr. Dorwart provided the Courier with a communication he received on October 18, 2019, in response to a Request for Public Records filed with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) on October 6, 2019. The DCR has jurisdiction over state forest land. Mike Harris, Assistant Manager of Legal Services, wrote, "Mellen Road is not under the care, custody or control of DCR and therefore the Department is not in possession of any plans regarding its repair. Instead, the Town of Winchendon may be the appropriate organization to respond to this request."

Mr. Dorwart points out that former Town Manager Keith Hickey stated that the Board of Selectmen took the advice of town counsel when they decided to go into Executive Session to discuss Mellen Road, a decision which the state Attorney General determined was a clear violation of state Open Meeting Law. In light of this, Mr. Dorwart asserts that he does not think Mr. Delaney should continue taking town counsel's advice, particularly on this matter, given the track record.

According to Mellen Road resident David Watkins, before Mellen Road was paved last fall on October 21, 2020, former Town Manager Keith Hickey told him on the phone that he was "delighted to say that there were no easements needed to accept Mellen Road at the 2021 Spring Town Meeting." Mr. Dorwart asserts that the properties have prescriptive easements, which is why the road could be paved.

Mellen Road has a long and confusing history which residents have spent many hours researching. It clearly appears on town maps going back to the 1800s, such as the map included in the 1868 History of the Town of Winchendon by Rev. A.P. Marvin. Deeds conveyed to the current residents of Mellen Road for their homes, which were built in the late 1980s and 1990s, indicate that the road is a public way. Until 2018, the town DPW did basic repairs to the road surface each year, filling in potholes left after the winter. When this practice was discontinued, the road deteriorated rapidly.

Adding to the overall mystery of the situation is the fact that the Winchendon State Forest does not appear on the list of state parks on, nor in any town history. When and how the land was deeded to the state for a park is unknown, but Mellen Road had existed for many years before then. Otter River State Forest was acquired by the State Forest Commission in 1915. Mr. Dorwart told the Courier that while he has located all the deeds of sale for land abutting Mellen Road back to the 1960s, he has not found any record of a transfer of the state forest land to the state.

Winchendon Town Election to be Held Monday, May 3

The Annual Town Election will be held on Monday, May 3, 2021 at the Senior Center, 52 Murdock Avenue, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The sample ballot and a Vote-By-Mail application may be found at 2021 Annual Town Election on the town website. The following candidates or incumbents are on the ballot:

Barbara L. Anderson
Danielle R. LaPointe

Ryan G. Forsythe
Shauna B. LaPointe

BOARD OF HEALTH (three year term)
Lionel C. Cloutier
Keith M. Kent

BOARD OF HEALTH (two year term)
Tina M. Santos

Nancy F. Romanowski

Subway April 2021 Steak Sub Ad

COVID-19 Vaccination Information - Gardner Clinic

As of Thursday, February 18, Winchendon seniors aged 65 and up are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Clinics for the Gardner Regional COVID Vaccination Center will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, dependent on the delivery of the vaccine from the State.

Registration for clinics will take place on Mondays and Fridays beginning at 10:00 a.m. To register online, visit or by calling the City's Registration Call Center at 978-958-9057. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Clinics will take place at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 17 Kendall Pond Road West, Gardner MA 01440.

Winchendon Awarded $243,600 from the Mass DOT Reimagined Streets Program

The Reimagined Central Street and Elmwood Road Project, including Safe Routes to Schools and Safe Routes for Seniors, will create an ADA compliant, safe, vital route connecting the Murdock High School, Memorial Elementary School, Broadview Assisted Living Center to the downtown commercial area of Winchendon where vital daily services are provided. To complement the project, 2 (two) Montachusett Area Regional Transit (MART) bus shelters are proposed at the vacinity of the Fire Station and the Town Hall/Library, a rapid flashing beacon at the entrance to the schools, signage, improved pavement markings with additional markings alerting motorists to reduced speed limits and the location of crosswalks. Construction is expected to be complete by June 30, 2021.

Signal Boost: Master Plan Implementation Committee Volunteers Still Needed

The Board of Selectmen are still seeking volunteers to serve on the Master Plan Implementation Committee. Details about the committee and the qualifications for volunteers may be found lower down on this page.

Winchendon Woman Injured While Hiking Mount Monadnock

A Winchendon woman who was on the trails on Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire after nightfall fell off a rock ledge and was seriously injured, authorities reported.

Jennifer Lynn Publicover, 40, was on the White Arrow Trail on Mount Monadnock on Sunday, April 4 at around 8:25 p.m. when she called 911 to report that she did not have a flashlight. It was then one hour past sunset. Ms. Publicover was about a half mile from the end of Old Toll Road in Jaffrey. (White Arrow is not the easiest marked trail on the mountain). Her cell phone's battery went dead a minute into her call to a conservation officer from the fish and game department.

911 dispatchers were able to provide GPS coordinates for Ms. Publicover's location at the time of the call. After the call, Ms. Publicover continued hiking down the trail in the dark and fell from a rock ledge, landing on rocks about twenty feet below the trail.

Two conservation officers, who had arrived at the park at about 9:20 p.m., located Ms. Publicover at approximately 10:00 p.m. They determined that she had sustained serious injuries to the right side of her body in the fall. The Jaffrey Fire Department, the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Peterborough Fire Department and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team responded to calls for assistance.

Ms. Publicover was carried in a litter to a pickup truck, transferred to an ambulance down Old Toll Road, driven to Silver Ranch Airpark in Jaffrey and flown by medical helicopter to U/Mass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester at about 2:00 a.m.

According to officials, Ms. Publicover began her hike at around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and was not correctly dressed or equipped for the conditions, lacking a light source, map, compass, food or water. According to Local Conditions, the temperature was around 45 degrees when Ms. Publicover was found.

"This incident is a good reminder to all people recreating in the outdoors to prepare for the unexpected, hike with a partner or group, and carry the necessary equipment," the fish and game department said. "Never rely on a cellular phone for rescue. Please visit for a list of recommended hiking equipment."

Central Mass Tree

Local Organic Farmers to Host Workshop: Mushroom Growing

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting a workshop regarding Mushroom Growing on April 10th from 10:00 to noon at the farm in Barre. Join the cast and crew at Many Hands Organic Farm for 2 hours of hands on learning. We’ll be hefting logs, plugging them with shitake spawn, and sealing the plugs over with cheese wax. When we’re done with that we’ll start our first ever oyster totems, using poplar logs. Potluck lunch to follow, questions encouraged, comraderie required. Registration is available on the Many Hands Organic Farm website at

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Winchendon Back in the Red Zone As COVID Cases Increase

As Winchendon elementary school students (grades K-5) returned to full time in-person classes this week, and vaccination appointments remain scarce and difficult to find in north Central Massachusetts, Winchendon is back in the "red" highest-risk category for number of COVID-19 cases.

Winchendon's official case count is now 665 (that's total confirmed cases since March). This is an increase of 12 cases from the previous week. As of April 6, 804 tests had been done in Winchendon in the previous 14 days, and 43 tests returned a positive result. This slightly increases Winchendon's two-week percent positivity to 5.35 percent, up from 4.83 percent the previous week. Winchendon now appears as red (high risk) on the color-coded list of Massachusetts towns. Of surrounding towns, Athol, and Orange are also at "red" status. Ashburnham, Fitchburg, Gardner, Templeton and Westminster remain yellow or lower.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, April 8, there have been 600,632 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (14,334 in the previous week), with 16,876 fatalities (205 in the previous week). The rate of new cases across the state is rising steadily, largely because of increased cases among younger people. Deaths and hospitalizations remain at a steady level.

Massachusetts moved to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan as of Monday, March 1.

In Phase 3, Step 2 of the plan, indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces may re-open at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 500 persons. Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact, such as laser tag, roller skating, trampolines and obstacle courses may open at 50 percent capacity.

The following businesses or sites may open at 50 percent capacity, not including staff and employees:

  • Arcades & Other Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Businesses
  • Close Contact Personal Services
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Golf Facilities (indoor)
  • Libraries
  • Operators of Lodging (common spaces)
  • Museums, Cultural & Historic Facilities, Guided Tours
  • Office Spaces
  • Places of Worship
  • Sectors not Otherwise Addressed
  • Theaters and Performance Venues
  • Relevant EEA Industries – Youth sports spectators and so on
Restaurants will have no capacity limit, but must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between tables. Parties are limited to six persons per table and can remain at the table no longer than 90 minutes. Open food courts (such as in malls) must remain closed. Musical performances will be allowed in restaurants with appropriate distancing.

Retail stores selling clothes may re-open fitting rooms.

Under Step 1, Phase 4, large capacity sports and entertainment venues may open at a strict limit of 12 percent capacity. Exhibition and convention halls may open, following gathering limits, dance floors may open and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this summer. Gathering limits in event venues and public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 outdoors. The limits for private gatherings will remain at 25 persons outdoors and 10 persons indoors in private homes.

Travelers arriving in Massachusetts from other states are now recommended, but not required, to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Massachusetts residents travelling to Maine are no longer required by that state to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

As of April 5, vaccination appointments are now open to persons aged 55 and up, and persons with at least one of the following eligible medical conditions: Cancer, Chronic kidney disease, Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension, Dementia or other neurological conditions, Diabetes (type 1 or type 2), Down Syndrome, Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system), Overweight and obesity and severe obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease or thalessemia, Smoking (current or former), Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain, and Substance use disorders.

As of Thursday, April 8, 2,586,903 persons (37.5 percent of the state population) have received the first dose of vaccine. 1,617,249 (23.5 percent of the state population) have received two doses (or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and are fully vaccinated.

Complete Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, Thursday, April 8 (PDF, 45 pages)

Gov. Baker stresses the vital importance of wearing masks and face coverings at all times, in public or private, whenever people are not alone or in the sole company of their immediate household members. Employees must wear face masks at work except in individual work spaces or alone, and communal break rooms should be closed or limited. Persons using gyms must wear face masks at all times, even while exercising.

Face masks are required for anyone over the age of 5 in any public setting, indoors or outdoors, whether they are maintaining a six-foot distance or not. Anyone who steps outside their home anywhere must be wearing a mask.

As with existing rules, fines of up to $500 may be imposed for failure to comply with protocols in force. Full details are available in the following documents:

Revised Governor's Order Required Face Coverings (PDF)

For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see There is a new state webpage on stopping COVID, You Have the Power to Save a Life. The Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Hotline number, answering questions about the COVID-19 situation, is 1-844-968-3323.

For complete details, see the overview on the website. Download the complete, 29-page report at Reopening Massachusetts (PDF).

Below is an updated list of the COVID-19 arrangements made by Winchendon community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, April 8. Changes have been happening very quickly and without notice, so call or check the websites or Facebook pages of a business or organization for the most up to date information. (Winchendon businesses or organizations who would like to be added to this list, or change their information, should email with details.)

Winchendon Public Schools
All elementary school students will return to full day regular classes as of April 5, by mandate of the Commissioner of Education. Parents may opt for all-remote learning if they don't wish their children to attend in-person class, but there will be no hybrid classes. Middle school students will return to full day classes as of April 28, and high school students at a later date. Elementary classes will be meeting at Murdock Middle High School as the HVAC system at Toy Town is still being repaired.

Town Hall
During Phase 3, Town Hall remains closed to the public for general business, except for some Boards and committees that have resumed in-person meetings which the public may attend (masks are required). Most staff will continue to work from home, but are responding to emails and phone calls (expect a delay). Most bills can be paid and applications submitted online, and payments can be dropped off in the dropbox by the Front Street entrance to the building. See agendas for Board and Committee meetings for detailed information on whether meetings will be in person or held remotely via Zoom, and how to attend.

The transfer station is OPEN for regular hours. Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

The Police Station and Fire Station are fully staffed but closed to walk-in visits by the general public. Call 911 for emergencies only and the business numbers for general questions and calls (Police: 978-297-1212; Fire: 978-297-2324). See each department's Facebook page for ongoing updates and information.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Closed to the public. The Center is starting an Intergenerational Pen Pal program in collaboration with The Winchendon School to help seniors and younger people connect. Call the Center for more information. Staff are at work and continue to deliver lunches to seniors, as well as bags of groceries. The Center is also delivering loaner books and jigsaw puzzles to seniors. Essential transportation offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact them if you're a senior and need groceries or medications. See their Facebook page for updates. 978-297-3155.

Beals Memorial Library
Will be allowing the public inside the building by appointment only as of March 22. Only 4 people inside at one time, 30-minute appointments. Restrooms will not be open and computers will not be available. See their Facebook page for more details.
Interlibrary Loan is now available. Copying and Fax service is available: make an appointment for dropping off and picking up materials. Payment due at drop-off (b/w copies $0.10 per side, color copies $0.25 per side, faxes $1.00 per page).
Building remains closed to the public, all programs, events and meetings suspended until further notice. The library is waiting for air quality tests and approval from the state and there is a long backlog of libraries and public buildings ahead of them. Library materials may be borrowed via pickup in the library lobby or curbside. Patrons can reserve items over the phone (978-297-0300), by email or online. Pickup will be by appointment. Patrons must be wearing masks to enter the side door lobby, one at a time. Only physical items owned by Beals Memorial Library are available until further notice (no interlibrary loans). You can borrow library e-resources through the Beals website. (If you have a library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow ebooks via your cell phone.) Library materials can be returned in the outside drop box. Overdue fines are waived for the time being. Check the Beals Facebook page for video book readings by Library Director Manuel King.

Used book and media sale on Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 p.m. by appointment. Books and magazines by free donation, puzzles for $5, DVDs, music, video games and audio books $1. All proceeds go to future library programs and events. Call for an appointment.

BealsCon has been rescheduled to June, 2022 as it appears uncertain that the pandemic will subside enough in 2021 for an event of this kind.

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 3 guidelines. Registration open for this summer's Camp Clark. Hiring lifeguards and swim instructors. For full details, see their Facebook page or website.

Full day child care for school age children starting September 14, 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., $150 per week. Call 978-297-9622 or email Kyle Scrivines at with questions.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
Clothing room is now open to the public--limit of 4 persons at a time, masks required.
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.
The CAC frequently has excess food at the end of the week and puts out last minute calls asking people to come get food--watch their Facebook page, especially Thursday and Friday.
Tutoring/mentoring program for WPS students in conjunction with The Winchendon School. Limited space, call 978-297-1667 to get on the list.

NEW HOURS. CLOSED MONDAYS. Open Friday 8:00-3:00 with pantry 9:00-1:00. Public is allowed inside the building by appointment, three appointments per 30 minutes. NO ADMITTANCE WITHOUT MASK AND HANDS SANITIZED IN AND OUT WITH PROVIDED SANITIZER. CAC Haven of Hope is open to provide services during business hours, including showers, laundry, pre-made meals and relaxation area. Accepting donations, see new guidelines. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Building closed until further notice, due to COVID restrictions. See post on their Facebook page.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. See their Facebook page for updates about future events. 978-297-2142.

The Dance Center
Studios open for in-person dance classes. Online virtual dance classes and activities continue. See their Facebook page for more information. 978-297-5678.


Carriage House Restaurant
Open for indoor dining. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and specials. 978-297-1089.

Christo's Place
Open for take-out only. Note temporary new hours: Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. & Fri-Sat-Sun 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Pay-by-phone, curbside pickup and free delivery available. Christo's family and staff ask that as few people as possible come inside the store to pick up orders, to help keep everyone safer. 978-297-1142.

C & S Pizza
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2202.

Dunkin Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only.

Friends Garden
OPEN for take-out only as of May 1. 978-297-2277, 978-297-2278.

Gabby's Pizza
Re-opening on Monday, April 5. Check their Facebook page for updates. Note: customers MUST wear a mask to come inside to pick up orders. 978-297-3909.

The Glen Caffe
Open for dine-in and take-out, Thurs-Sat 4:00-8:00 p.m. 978-297-0800. Still preparing take-out meals for sale at Not Just Produced, 290 Central St.

Gourmet Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. No refills of reusable cups for sanitary reasons. You can call ahead with your order and it will be ready to pick up. 978-297-9700

The Harbour Sports Bar
Indoor seating for meals. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Limited indoor dining. Menu, including daily specials, posted on their Facebook page. Customers are asked to wear masks when picking up orders, and to call in orders ahead if possible. 978-297-2233.

Lickity Splitz
OPEN for the season, see their Facebook page for info and specials. 978-297-1777.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
New hours, see their Facebook page. Open for indoor dining. Open for take-out, pickup at Little Lizzie's ice cream window. Menu and online ordering may be done here. Beer and wine available for take-out. Local delivery available. Local ice cream now available. 978-297-2669, 978-297-1880.

Murdock Farm and Dairy Bar
Will open for the season on May 1.

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
Outdoor seating, limited indoor dining. Parties cannot be seated until everyone is present, due to space limitations. Customers are asked to respect protocols for sanitizing tables and keeping distance. Open for take-out. Will have some outside tables available. See their Facebook page for daily menus and specials. Grocery food (cheese, butter, bread, etc) available to order, cash only, delivery available. List with prices on their Facebook page. 978-616-8956.

Open for take-out only, see Facebook page for hours, weekly specials and ordering information. 978-297-0011.

Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria
Outdoor seating open, weather permitting. Open for indoor dining, take-out and delivery. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Trivia night on Wednesday has resumed! Hiring server/bartender, apply in person. 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop
OPEN. Ring for admittance.

Belletetes Winchendon
Open to customers.

Cumberland Farms


Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
Garden plants, supplies. See their Facebook page for news and specials. Only eight customers inside at a time, customers are asked to maintain social distancing. 978-297-2518.

Mystical Magical Marketplace
Open Thurs-Sat, looking for vendors. Classes beginning soon. 978-297-9790.

Not Just Produced
New and additional inventory. Deli is now open. Locally grown produce and beef, local cheese. Hosting the Winchendon Mobile Market on Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Packaged meals ready-to-go prepared by the Glen Caffe. Organic produce from Charlie's Redhouse Farm. Only ten customers can be inside the store at one time. New phone number: 978-297-7142. Call and order ahead for curbside pickup.

Pattie's Jewelry
Store open to the public, with limits on number of people inside at one time. See their Facebook page for daily specials and information. Hand delivery of local purchases, layaway available. 978-297-3536.

The Perennial Patch
Watch their Facebook page for updates about new season opening. 978-297-0604.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Open with Phase 3 occupancy limits. 978-297-5600.

Reflections Country Collections
See their Facebook page for hours and updates. 978-297-2411.

Rescued Treasures Second Hand Shoppe
Open Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. All proceeds benefit Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue. See their Facebook page for fundraising events and updates.

Robin's Retro Dolls
PM Robin for an appointment. Store currently closed to customers but Robin is buying and selling dolls by appointment, mail order, and on eBay. Contact her at 978-912-1688 with inquiries. If you have a doll to sell, text a photo to 978-912-1688 and she'll get back to you. Watch her Facebook page for updates.

Smith's Country Cheese
OPEN. Call for curbside pickup. 978-939-5738.

Sunset View Farm

To Each His Own Design
Store is open to customers. Taking orders by phone or over the internet, delivering. See their Facebook page for news and specials. 978-297-3959.

Toy Town Stained Glass
Open to public, appointments available outside general hours. Classes being held at store and Monty Tech. See their website for details. 978-297-7102.

Toy Town Treasures
Open with Phase 3 precautions. No more than eight customers inside at one time, face masks required. See their Facebook page for updates and specials. 978-297-4474.


Winchendon Furniture
Winchendon and Keene showrooms now open. Customers asked to wear face masks. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the store. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and specials. 978-297-0131.


Athol Savings Bank
Branch lobbies open to customers as of March 15. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
Open for Inspection stickers during business hours, no appointment needed. Open for repairs and towing services. Call or check their Facebook page for updates and hours. 978-297-2561.

Clifford P. Beauvais Insurance Agency
Open Mon-Thur 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Fri 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For emergencies outside these hours, email If possible, call or email before coming to the office. Must wear a face mask to come inside. 978-297-0472.

LaPoint Law Office
Office is closed to the public, but attorneys are responding to queries and serving existing clients. Contact them at 978-297-2390, 978-297-3673, or by fax at 978-616-8491, or by email at:,, or See their Facebook page for more information.

Tip Top Nails
Open as of June 22. 978-297-0400.

Toy Town Barber Shop
Open with precautions as of Tuesday, May 26. Customers are asked to wear masks and stay six feet apart while waiting. Advance appointments preferred. Call Sharon Esper at 603-554-2402 (cell) or 978-297-7354 (shop) to make an appointment.


The Chapel, The Chapel Downtown
Holding worship services in the chapel. Attendance limited, all attendees must follow guidelines. Services will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. See their Facebook page or website for more information.

Cornerstone Church
In-person Sunday worship services with a limit of 65 attendees. Online services will continue to be offered. Holding virtual prayer meetings online. See their Facebook page for more information. NOTE: some posts on this Facebook page contain false information and/or are shared from unreliable sources.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Open for mass at 6:30 p.m. Services will return to normal schedule with guidelines in place. Attendance will be limited and all attendees must wear masks. See the church Facebook page for more information. Contact the office at, Fr. Henry at, or call 978-297-0280.

Our Neighbor's Kitchen community suppers have resumed as take-out meals on first and third Thursdays of the month.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers are being distributed as “drive-through/take-out" from the church circular driveway every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. until further notice. AA Meeting on Monday nights at 7:45 p.m. in the church parish hall. For more information about these and other events, visit their Facebook page or website:

United Parish of Winchendon
In-person worship services resuming Sunday, June 28. Pre-registration required; check their Facebook page for registration form and further updates. Sunday worship being streamed online, see their Facebook page for information, as well as for daily videos, Bible readings and prayers. Sunday School has resumed--pre-register on the church website. Zoom meetings and at-home study materials are also both available for Sunday School.

Now Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC)

At their February 22, 2021 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan presented to them, and to establish a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) for the purpose of overseeing the execution of the Master Plan as outlined.

The Winchendon Master Plan describes the will of the people of Winchendon. All town boards, commissions, committees, staff and citizens should use this Plan to guide their work in creating the future everyone seeks. The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) is charged with overseeing its execution and will work with the Town Manager and Responsible Leads. Members of the MPIC have a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Master Plan, are a Winchendon resident or have vested interest in the community, are a demonstrated team player, are reliable and have at least one of these qualifications:

  • Project management
  • Communications
  • Town history
  • Knowledge of "how things work"
MPIC specific responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and monitor implementation
  • Collaborate with players to develop and track execution goals
  • Assist with goals that require additional resources
  • Encourage ongoing citizen engagement
  • Assess status of specific actions, evaluate priorities, and suggest new implementation techniques where appropriate
  • Identify successful strategies and barriers to progress
  • Periodically evaluate the plan
  • Create a mechanism to provide updates and progress reports to the Board of Selectmen
To see the full Master Plan, click here.

The Board of Selectmen is currently accepting letters of interest to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please send your letter of interest to the Town Manager's Office, 109 Front Street, Winchendon MA 01475 or to Taylor at

Winchendon CVS One of 21 COVID-19 Test Locations in Massachusetts

Beginning Friday, May 22, the Winchendon CVS will be offering COVID-19 tests to residents who meet CDC criteria for testing and age requirements. The tests will use a self-swab system, and residents must register for an appointment in advance and drive to the drive-through window to be tested. No tests will be administered on a walk-in basis for safety reasons. The CVS store is located at 301 Central Street.

Patients should make an appointment at, and bring the appointment confirmation, proof of identity and date of birth, and an insurance card with them. Most patients will not have any out-of-pocket costs, as health insurance will cover the test, but patients can check with their insurer to confirm that the test is covered.

This test is for active COVID-19 infections. It is not an antibody test to discern a past infection.

Full details are on the CVS website.

CVS plans to open 1,000 test sites across the country.

Make DIY Cloth Face Masks

Many people are sewing cloth face masks for themselves and for health care workers. There is even a Facebook group supporting this effort, Mask Makers.

There are a number of patterns available on the Internet. The Courier is sharing the PDF pattern below, which includes templates and clear, photograph-illustrated sewing directions, for the convenience of our readers. The pattern is being distributed by Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH and may be copied and shared freely.

The CDC has issued a nationwide advisory asking people to wear face masks at all times when out in public. COVID-19 is spread primarily through the air, and infected persons are the most contagious before they have any symptoms. It's estimated that as many as 50 percent of infected persons may never show symptoms or get sick, but still are able to infect others. Wearing face masks will significantly reduce the chances of infected people spreading the virus.

Face Mask Pattern and Directions (PDF)

Do You Have a Garden in Winchendon?

You can help the Winchendon HEAL Project bring affordable, whole food back to town by telling us about your garden! Fill out this online survey:

What is the HEAL Winchendon Food Project?

Hydrant Flushing to Begin April 5th

Hydrant flushing will begin Monday, April 5th and continue through the end of the month. Work will be conducted Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Hydrant flushing is a part of our routine maintenance and is important to ensure appropriate water flow is available to fire fighters. It also improves water quality by clearing iron and other mineral deposits from the system. Residents may notice reduced water pressure or discolored water while flushing is occurring.

2021 Town Meeting Set for May 17

At their meeting on Monday, January 25, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to set the date for the 2021 spring Annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting for Monday, May 17, at 7:00 p.m., to be held at Murdock Middle High School. The warrants will be open from January 25 until April 6.

The location within Murdock Middle High School, such as the auditorium or the gym, will be decided at a later date depending on the situations around the pandemic later this year.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of February 8

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Commission - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 9 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Library Trustees - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 regular vacancy, 1 student vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 4 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 vacancies

If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

A complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for July, 2020, may be found here (PDF).

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Toy Town FYIs

2021 Dog Licenses are now overdue. All dogs were required to be licensed by March 31. You may purchase a license through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20.

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

Enjoying the new Winchendon Courier Online? We're just getting started! But wow, is this a lot of work. The best work in the world, but still a lot of it! Please consider supporting us with a small donation. We'd so appreciate it. Thanks!